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The Nature of Language. By Donna Margaret. What is language?. Languages are systematic Rules and principles, like a game of chess. Languages are symbolic The meanings of symbols in a language come through the tacit agreement. Languages are social

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the nature of language

The Nature of Language

By Donna Margaret

what is language
What is language?
  • Languages are systematic

Rules and principles, like a game of chess.

  • Languages are symbolic

The meanings of symbols in a language come through the tacit agreement.

  • Languages are social

We use it to communicate, to categorize and to catalogue the objects, events, and processes of human experience.

a language is
A language is…

a system of arbitrary vocal symbols by means of which a social group co-operates.

early approaches to sla
Early Approaches to SLA
  • Contrastive Analysis
  • Error Analysis
  • Interlanguage
  • Morpheme Order Studies
  • Monitor Model
contrastive analysis
Contrastive Analysis
  • Focus on the surface forms of L1 & L2 systems
  • Involves predicting and explaining learner problems
  • Comparison of L1 and L2
  • Determine similarities and differences
  • Transfer in learning:

Positive  chicas to girls

Negative  guapaschicas to beautifuls girls

types of interference
Types of Interference
  • Same meaning, different form

Spanish: Iré (I) will go

English: I will go

  • Same meaning, different form and distribution

Spanish: agua ‘water’

English: water

error analysis
Error Analysis
  • Internal focus on learners’ creative ability to construct language.
  • Analysis of actual learner errors.
  • L2 learners' errors are focused not as bad habits, but as sources of insight into the learning processes.
  • Errors are windows into the language learner’s mind
monitor model
Monitor Model
  • Language Acquisition Device (LAD)
  • Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis
  • Monitor Hypothesis
  • Natural Order Hypothesis
  • Input Hypothesis
  • Affective Filter Hypothesis
consensus
Consensus
  • SLA  a “rule-governed” language system
  • How SLA takes place involves creative mental processes
  • Why some learners are more (or less) successful in SLA than others relates primarily to the age of the learner